NEW: Demonstrators defy a deadline to leave the encampment
NEW: Protesters take over a building at UC Santa Cruz
Four people are arrested on charges of failure to disperse, police say
The mayor says an encampment at City Hall is not "sustainable indefinitely"
Protesters holding their ground at an Occupy site in Los Angeles rallied on Monday to highlight their success and vowed to continue their encampment.
Police arrested four people earlier in the day on charges of failure to disperse after some demonstrators defied a 12:01 a.m. deadline to leave the camp at City Hall Park. But then police pulled back, avoiding what would have likely been a confrontation and giving protesters more time to leave on their own.
“Our communities have real problems, but the camp at City Hall is not one of them,” said Maribel Nolasco, with Good Jobs LA, one of the groups working with the Occupy LA movement.
“Elected officials in L.A. and around the country should be more concerned about enforcing regulations on banks, than enforcing park rules. They should be busy creating jobs not creating jobs with peaceful protesters,” she said.
Sgt. Andy Neiman, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department, said the park is officially closed, but recognized “several hundred” Occupy protesters are still there.
“At this point, anybody who is occupying the park could be subject to arrest,” he said – but he would not say when police might act.
Earlier, Police Chief Chuck Beck told CNN that he hoped most protesters would leave voluntarily, as many did after the park was closed.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced the deadline Sunday night, saying “an encampment on City Hall grounds is simply not sustainable indefinitely.”
Elsewhere in California on Monday, protesters took over the Hahn Student Services building at the University of California at Santa Cruz, according to UC Santa Cruz spokesman Jim Burns. The students were upset about the recent pepper spray incident at UC Davis, he said, adding that “there is no immediate decision to evict them.”
And at UC Davis, between 100-150 students took part in a “teach-in” at Dutton Hall, which houses the school’s financial aid and student services offices, as well as some classrooms, UC Davis spokeswoman Claudia Morain said.
The Occupy Wall Street movement that began in New York in September has spread across major cities worldwide as a call to action against unequal distribution of wealth.
In recent weeks, cities have begun clearing encampments, citing economic and health concerns.
The Los Angeles encampment, which has been in place for some 60 days, has become the largest remaining one after police raided New York’s Zuccotti Park on November 15 and emptied it of protesters who had been camping out for nearly two months.
CNN’s Sandra Endo, Greg Morrison and Sonya Hamasaki contributed to this report.